Help! I need a new vacuum cleaner

Everyone… meet Bissell.

Bissell has been a good friend for so many years, I’ve lost count. But there comes a time when good things must come to an end. And the sooner the better this round.

My budget has never allowed for a decent vacuum so I just… suffered. To put it mildly.

Oh, I’ve tried some lower priced hand me downs over the years. I mean, I found a better one than I had on the curb for vacuum’s sake! But the day it created my very own personal dust storm, it literally flew out the front door in one big POOF. So Bissell was put into action once again.


Oh… this one’s a charmer. She howls. Yep, that’s her thang. She howls so loud that I have to bang on the corner of the lid so it gapes open while it’s running. That’s what those amazing black distressing details are all about.

The hose comes with a detachable… duct taped end.  It’s necessary to hold the end against the hose while using this unit. Pure talent to run this one, friends!

Oh gee.. I forgot to watermark this one. I hope no one pins it without asking!!! >:)

Beauty shots

You know me well enough to know at this point that I always attempt to flip a neg into a pos, yes?

Bet you never knew a tangled cord could look so… tangled. At least the grass is green.

It’s pretty much customary that every beauty shot makes it’s way to this little table. Hmm… needs a little colour…

There ya go. 

“A touch of turquoise garbage playing against the red edge of the duct tape offers this piece new life.”

All I gotta say about this is…

I love my swiffer. This is the best vacuum system I’ve got right about now.

Other than a standard schmandard broom that picks up about 8.5% of the pet hair of course.

I love my swiffer.

Beauty shots

*sniff* You’re so deserving.

But… it’s time I get a little serious and get a real vacuum cleaner of some sort. Hardwood floors + pets = deserted western town styled tumble weed pet fluff everywhere you look.

So… HELP! What vacuum cleaner would you recommend I look at?

Giveaway on now

And the lucky duck winner of Katie’s Rose Cottage Designs is…

April from Thoughtful Escapes! 

Congrats, April! Oh you will LOVE her things! I’ll have Lori email you so you can swap info. 🙂

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67 thoughts on “Help! I need a new vacuum cleaner

  1. It looks like Bissel has served you well for oh these many years but since you need to move on to a new vacuum I recommend the Dyson. I had a Ricar but I can’t believe how much more dust and pet hair the Dyson picks up. I have the low end model without the whole ball thing but I love it. No more bags and I can’t believe how much dust and pet hair it picks up. I use it on the carpet, hardwood and tile floors. Best of luck finding a new vacuum.

  2. I wish I could suggest one! I use our shop vac…which sucks great, but those filters are expensive! I’d love to get an upright for Christmas 😉 …but really, I’ll be watching the comments for good suggestions, too!

  3. A Miele. They don’t spray dust out the exhaust so they are hypo allergenic. I had to get one for the kids allergies. I never believed in expensive vacuums like Electroluxes, but I do now. I have had three and my daughter insisted on one for last Christmas, even though she is single. The one in my retirement house is so good, I think someone stole it. I can’t find it. You might be able to get the least expensive one, or a reconditioned one. I have had a Dhurrie rug for about 35 years that is in almost perfect condition because of this vacuum. It has an extra strong beater setting also. The bag less vacuums are difficult to empty and make you breathe the dust. Good luck

  4. I have had amazing luck with my Rainbow, it was very costly but I just made monthly payments and it was well worth it at first I thought I would never buy it but after the demo I was hooked and don’t regret it. I have had it about 6 yrs and still haven’t replaced the filter (maybe I don’t vacuum enough great on carpets and floors good luck

  5. Over the years, I have spent lots of money on vacuum cleaners. I have had a couple Electrolux canister vacuums (which I ALWAYS tripped over), an upright electrolux, (which I was STUPID enough to trade in one day when the Kirby man came ringing my doorbell). I. HATED. THE. KIRBY. Too HEAVY. If you want a hernia, buy a Kirby. Sold it and lost my behind. The machine that I loved the most over the years was my Fantom Thunder upright that I bought from Montgomery Wards, but they are not available anymore. I still have it. I use it in the lower level of our house to vacuum our carpet and tile floors. A few years ago, I bought an Electrolux upright from Best Buy…the one where the woman is rescuing her husband from falling off the ladder, by sucking him back to the house….yes, I loved it, until the roller quilt working. An internet search confirmed that it happened alot with that model. It worked great until the warranty was up….go figure…so I bought a DYSON. I. LOVE. IT!!!! Mine is the conventional style…no ball. It has bare floor setting, and three different settings for the thickness of your rugs. The handle and wand pulls straight up and out of the machine for vacuuming anything other than floors. I love it so much, if it needed replaced, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one. I bought the version meant for pet owners, even though we don’t have pets. Love it, love it, love it! (and I am NOT a spokesman for Dyson).

    If you don’t want, or can’t afford a Dyson, buy one with at LEAST a 12 amp motor. You will get more sucking power and won’t be dissapointed.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. A few years back I searched for a vacuum that I hoped would last for years and years! I chose a Miele – the Callista. It does very well on our hardwoods at getting the dust from the plaster walls and our dog’s dander. It am very happy with it!
    Best of luck,

  7. DYSON. I’ve had mine for about 4 years now and, although it was expensive, it was worth every penny. It sucked an entire container of dust out of my family room carpet that I had JUST vacuumed with an electrolux. I know, gross! That thing really does have suction that does not quit. I have the canister.

  8. Haha! This reminds me of my vaccuum! Hillarious! I’ve never had a good one either, but we’re not going to get a new one yet. Sorry I can’t be of help. I will say that I like bagged vaccuums better than baggless. My husband had a baggless one & it was horrible. It kicked the bucket though so I was able to throw it out & we just use my old bagged one that is a hand-me-down from my parents that I have had for over 10 years… they probably had it for another 10 before that! 🙂

  9. I have a Dyson that I loved at first. But since my husband took it apart to clean it, it is no longer self propelling, so I don’t love it quite so much. If you want a great vacuum for pet hair though – it’s your one – just don’t let anyone take it apart! LOLOLOL

  10. I have had a Dyson for about 9 years. They are pricey, but well worth the investment. I have swept up after numerous cats, a dog and messy children, and even nine years later it still works as well as it did the day I brought it home. Empty the dust cup, wash the filters out every few months, and it will keep working like a charm.
    I started cleaning our church a year ago, and they bought me a Dyson Ball – which I love. It’s great for vacuuming around and under the church pews -great maneuverability, and the changes they made in the nine years since I bought my first one are all for the better. Good luck on your search for a new vacuum cleaner!

  11. Miele! I bought one over 15 years ago, a White Star,and it is still excellent…then two months ago I pulled over to look at a big junky furniture and odds and ends type city street sale and there was an old Miele…I asked the guy how much? He said $4. Wow, I was feeling so lucky and took it home with me. I plugged it in and it works the bomb! It needed a wand, and the cord no longer retracted. YOu can get parts for any vacuum at I also know of a local store that deals in vacuums and they sell reconditioned ones. The really good ones like Miele and Electrolux…you might look on Craigslist for one or a mom and pop store like the one I mentioned.

  12. Funny, I just went through this myself. I am a huge fan of the $50 Dirt Devil upright. It is loud and has no bells and whistles but it works awesome! I love it so much more than the expensive Kenmores I have had before.

  13. Dyson. About five years ago I bought one after I got tired of having to buy a new “cheap” vacuum every two years. The Dyson is easy to clean. I have taken the whole thing apart to find a clog. We love to empty the cup and then vacuum a room, and see all of the dust that was in the carpet. We are easily entertained.

  14. Without a doubt, Dyson. The same story as a lot of these comments I see. I had 5 different vacuums over 15 year period (including the Kirby..ugh) Just get the Dyson, pet hair, ahem..sawdust..It is great. Hope they contact you and ask you to “try” one out. Happy Thanksgiving

  15. The old sweeper head on our old vacuum died about 3 years before we got a new one. So I had to vacuum by trying to cover every inch of our carpet with the end of the hose. It was not fun. Finally, when we moved and had a lot of hardwood, we bought a new one.

    Dyson Animal. On a ball. I am horrified. Horrified. Every time I vacuum by how much crap comes up off of our floors.

  16. (sorry had to edit my spelling mistake)
    I have had quite a few crappy vacuums that got clogged with pet hair and long female hair. I just HATED having to get the roller part and cut away all the hairs wrapped tightly around it.
    I now have a Shark Infinity (Pet model) upright and it is great. No bags, lots of suction, HEPA filter and only about $250. I don’t know if they still make it, but it came from Canadian Tire and I just searched there and they have the canister model but not upright.

  17. Well, I have a Kirby, and yes, they are heavy, but not that heavy! I have had mine for 12 years at least, and it still works great! We also did buy at Costco an Electrolux mini vacuum of sorts, it is great for the in between stuff.
    I had the bagless ones before, but they didn’t work as well, mine was a Hoover, then I got the Kirby, mine was a floor model, so I got a discount. Yes, it is expensive, but it has served our family well, and we did have a Golden Retriever, and we have a cat, and I have two boys, NEED I say more? LOL!
    Best of luck finding what you need.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  18. Unless Dyson wants to give you a promo deal, they are massively expensive (as are Kirbys.) I have seen good reviews of the Shark on tv, but no personal experience. Hoover has always done proud by me, standing up to massive amounts of pet hair and regular useage. Way outlived expectations. I have also done the curbside, garage sale, even dumpster versions of machines and upright Bissells have worked well. Did you know some construction cleaning companies dumpster their vacuums after each job?
    This question comes up regularly on the dog rescue forums, but since I have not been in the market I keep forgetting the concensus.
    Things to consider besides price are noise – it DOES matter, and weight, ease of swivel and getting underneath objects, into corners.
    Somehow no one worries about energy conservation with vacuum cleaners.

    I hope you get a free one (or several) to compare and review and KEEP

  19. Just bite the bullet and go with a Dyson! I grew up in a family of Electrolux lovers, but they just don’t make them the way they used to. My first “big girl” vacuum was an Oreck XL. I loved it but after 12 years, it was time for something new. I really tried hard not to buy into the whole Dyson hype…and failed. I have all hardwood and tile floors in my house…no carpet…and you wouldn’t believe the stuff that the Dyson picks up. I’m always amazed looking at how much yuck is in the canister when I’m finished. Watch for sales…especially right now…and get a store to price match if you have to.

  20. I’m a big fan of Oreck vacuum cleaners! I worked at a B&B with lots of stairs for 7 years and that Oreck not only was light enough (8 pounds) for the cleaning staff to easily carry up and down the stairs, but that thing took a beating from all the work it had to do! I have my own Oreck now and absolutely no regrets!

  21. Great post! Poor vacuum, 🙁 It was an investment for sure, but we decided to purchase a Dyson. We did it on the spur of the moment in Best Buy one day. I had one of those that kicked 1/2 of the dust/dirt out the back onto my feet and had had enough!!! We love it!!! We bought the pet version, which is purple trimmed. Haven’t even used the pet hair attchment the vacuum in regular mode is just perfect. Good luck, and if you can, a Dyson is a worthy investment.

  22. Oh, I forgot. My parents had a Kirby for 30 years and it worked great, they had it refirbished a few times. We just wanted to try the newest technology, with dyson.

  23. go to consumer reports and look up the best pet hair vacuum. I just about six weeks ago got a new one and it really sucks… no pun intended. We thought about making the plunge for the dyson pet but I couldnt stomach the 600.00 price. this is the hoover bagless pet hair. I cannot think of the name of it to save my life but it only cost like 129.00 and it has been very impressive how much dog hair and dander it picks up. definately an upgrade from the 20 year old oreck.

  24. I love my Dyson! We have a dog, with lots of fur, and three boys. My Dyson works like magic. One day my littlest came in with muddy boots, and left tracks all over the carpeted stairs. I let the mud dry, then vacuumed it up with the Dyson. There wasn’t a crumb left! It’s fantastic! They have refurbished vacs for cheaper, which is how we purchased ours.

  25. I had a Kirby when my hubs and I got married. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. It was a vaccuum….. About 4 years ago, hubs insisted on getting the Dyson Animal. I thought he was crazy. HE wanted a VACCUUM?? OMG – – that thing is AWESOME!!! We have 2 cats and a dog and I shed, too!! It sucks great AND is easy to clean out! It’s amazing!!! He bought it on Black Friday at Kohls. It was a very good price and we got their Kohls Cash and I got to spend it on me!! LOL

    Good luck, Donna! Have fun!

  26. I love my Dyson! About half our house is hardwood, the other half carpet and a little tile. We started with 3 cats, litter that scatters of it’s own free will and cat hair tumble weeds. You have to go slow to get all of the litter off of the hardwoods, other than that, it works great for our family.

  27. For many, many years I used cheaper vacuum cleaners. Then a friend told me about the Dyson – it’s purple (not the ball variety)and is especially recommended for homes with pets. I hated paying the price but it has been well worth it. I have had mine for 4+ years. Only thing that bugs me about it is that you have to wrap the cord around hooks on the back. Maybe newer versions have a retractable cord. I’m always tripping over mine 🙂 Never thought I would enjoy a vacuum cleaner haha!

  28. I loved our Dirt Devil Breeze bagless canister vacuum (, but when it died, my husband decided to buy a Dyson Animal that was on sale for an incredible price (that was his excuse). We have hardwood floors and a few small rugs, and I might be exaggerating due to hormones and those kind of things, but I hate it! Sorry to be against the flow, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me 🙂 Good luck with whatever you choose! And happy thanksgiving!

  29. I would vote for the Dyson, hands down. I have had one now for a couple of years now and it is the only vacuum I have ever had that doesn’t kill my back using it.

    I only have one kitty but after I vacuum I swear there is another one hiding in my house somewhere. It will amaze you how much dirt that thing sucks up.

    Mine is just the standard upright, no bells and whistles and it works fabulous. Good luck.

  30. My vote goes for DYSON as well. I have owned several Kenmore vacuums (from Sears). After the last one I said that’s it! Why should I have to be replacing a vacuum so frequently?! And buying all those bags can get expensive. I have the canister-type DYSON. LOVE IT !!!

  31. Hi donna, Happy Turkey Day! And THAT seems to be your neat turkey of the day huh! 🙂 Well first off let me tell you that I absolutely love your blog, and visit often, you are very inspiring and I cried a lot the other nite with your blog post! I have fam issues that cant seem to get themselves corrected, but that is a long story, so re the vaccuummmmmmm, my sis is the queen of the Vacs and has purchased and tried all of them seems, we laugh! a lot! Her now fave is Oreck! They have the two for one price and come with a guarantee, she has used it, they clean it etc. I need one too! My Sears (like yours) is about 30 years old, Kenmore, they dont make them like that anymore either let me tell you! 🙂 So there is my two cents worth, good luck! I will check back often to see what you came up with? Lastly, Im single, just retired, can relate, and know that you are loved by many that follow you! Love and happy holidays! Kat =^.^=

  32. Donna, I too would suggest a Dyson Animal. We too have animals and flooring and it more than does the job! We got ours off of Craigslist for a couple hundred last year and I will never buy another kind of vacuum. Look for the deals, saw a few from Maple Ridge and Mission recently, that’s not too far for you!!

  33. Dyson…I highly recommend to Dyson Animal. I have a German Shepherd who sheds constantly.The only vacuum that can get his fur up-which seems to weave itself into fabric, rugs etc.- is the Dyson. I am going on 5 years and it still works great.

  34. We have pets and hw floors. But, not the budget for an expensive vac. Plus, few do a good job on hw without scratching them. So, we have the swiffer vac. It is fantastic! I can do the entire downstairs (2000 sq ft) in one charge. It only takes 12hrs to charge fully. Love it!!! So much that I now have 2 of them. Pet hair loves to live on window sills to. Works great on them too!! Best $30 I ever spent. (With coupons can get it for less!!)

  35. I love my Orek vacuum. Today in the states we are celebrating Thanksgiving and I wanted to say thank you for your wonderful blog and sharing your life with us readers!

  36. We have 4 dogs and a cat. The Dyson is fabulous and well worth the investment. It really pulls up the animal hair and dirt.

  37. I can’t give much advise on vacuum cleaners. My last one was covered in duck tape and a friend found a bagless dirt devil at a garage sale for me. Its far better than my old piece of junk, duck tape version though!

  38. I have had so many. I’d pay $100 and they would last a couple years. Then our kids bought us a Dyson. Other than sucking up rolls of toilet paper and shirts and etc. it is the greatest thing ever. We have two dogs and a cat. It picks up so much. The other good thing is that if you pick up a lego or something it doesn’t go through the motor. They are expensive. If you get one of those great coupons at Bed Bath and Beyond it will cost alot less.

  39. donna i have had a dyson now for about 7 yrs got at sams club. its the purple pet . it works for me i have taken it apart few times when it got plugged and the last time i watched a video on line pretty informative cause the instructions are pretty minimal. i also got a smaller shop vac at walmart and the bags are more affordable and actually better for my wood stove dust than the sears shop vac i had. the sears one sucked in the bad way! also i had a kirby and we sucked a screw thu the motor[ that was the end]. this will NOT happen with a dyson or shop vac. good luck donna you really get what you pay for

  40. my friend just bought a Dyson Animal and loves it. It is an upright so if you have a lot of levels or stairs maybe it won’t work. I myself have a Miele and I LOVE IT! So there are 2 for you to consider on top of the other 50 or so suggestions. Patty/BC

  41. $55 – Eureka Boss Mighty Mite (its canister, yellow) on Amazon. My cleaning lady recommended it – had it for 7 years and its been great. I have hardwoods and pets. Didn’t have to spend one more minute thinking about it!

  42. Had an Oreck for years that I loved because it was so light weight, but once we got our golden lab it just was not picking up all the hair. We bought the smaller model Dyson, and I LOVE it. It has a 5 year warranty so when the brush button stopped working I just called and they told me where to take it nearby to get fixed – no problem. Works great on the hard surface floors and the carpet.

  43. I vote for Dyson too! I’ve had the yellow one for several years. It is so easy to empty BECAUSE it is bagless…I take it out to the dumpster to empty it. Want to get the animal one soon. We also have a newer Kirby but it is so heavy, very expensive bags, and a pain to get out the hose when needed…

  44. I’ve had my Dyson Animal hair… vacuum for a few years and absolutely love it. We have a cat that looks just like your black one and it does an amazing job at cleaning up all her hair and whatever else she drags in from the fields:) Very powerful, good quality hoses for extension and love not having to buy bags! I bought mine on a black friday which saved me $100 then signed up for the stores cc which gave me another $50 store credit:)

  45. Wow, this is timely. I just had the motor in my 2 1/2 year old Hoover blow up in a blaze of glory. OK, maybe glory isn’t the best way to describe it. The repair guy wanted $100 to fix it and I told him to forget it! He recommended a Riccar vacuum and I did look at those but ended up buying a Miele. I love it so far! Good luck!

  46. Donna – Not sure if you have Bed Bath and Beyond up there but they have 25% off some of their top Dyson models. I have a Miele (see above) but it sounds like a deal! Good Luck.
    Beth K. – flowers in the snow girl

  47. I am thirding (or fourthing? seventhing?) the recommendation for a Dyson. I got a refurbished Dyson Animal (the ball version) as an anniversary present – it sounds so unromantic, but I love this vacuum to PIECES. We have three cats, and I am allergic to dust mites, so we really needed something that could cope with allergens and get the place CLEAN. And oh boy does it ever! One of my favorite things about the Dyson vacuums is that the HEPA filters are washable and reusable; you just rinse, wring, and let them air-dry for 24 hours before putting them back in the vacuum. It seemed like an absurd amount of money for a vacuum at the time, and I would probably never have bought it for myself (hence why it was a gift!) but it has been worth every single penny. Check out the refurbished models on, and you won’t regret it.

  48. donna,
    this is months late from your request but i have been rather busy with the season and this is the first chance i’ve had to even LOOK at my blog roll.
    anyhoo, DYSON is THE best EVAH!! we needed a new vac and did some research. have a little 4 legged shedding pup and was looking into dyson. we chose the canister animal for two reasons. one it picks up dog hair VERY well and it’s lightweight enough for me to carry upstairs. honestly, i now love to vacuum! another plus is that the filter is only washed & dried every 3 months. how easy! it is worth the $400 (amazon)!
    hope you found one by now…just wanted to add my opinion to the mix.
    happy new year!

  49. Get a Riccar, I got mine more then 15 years ago and not even one break. The new ones are about 300.00. I have a home that is 107 years old. I have many kinds of surfaces, hardwood, rugs with fringe, tile. A kitchen I am getting remodeled so I have drywall dust and other assorted dust and debris from cats and dogs. I also have stairs 4 stair cases. I need something easy to take up and down stairs.

    My Riccar is the best vacuum I have ever owned. It gets dirt out of places an up right could never touch. I love that the suction never goes down as the bag fills.
    I love mine so much I bought 2 one for my downstairs and one for upstairs.

    Here is a link for a store locator and the canister I have.

    My Mom who has two Dyson uprights and has severe difficulty using them. They are very heavy and awkward for her to use. The hose to use for cleaning the sofa, dusting, crevice tool, is so stiff it she is barely able to pull it out and use it.

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